Tony Pulis had some very interesting comments following West Bromwich Albion’s comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the season’s first match.
The manager known for his defensive propensity and long-ball tactics admitted he was too aggressive against City in starting a pair of strikers up front, leaving the midfield gaping for the 2013 Premier League champions to exploit.
“I said to them after the game I have to take responsibility [for the loss],” Pulis said postmatch. “Playing Saido [Berahino] and Ricky [Lambert], but I think that left the midfield too open, going against the principals that I’ve always worked with and worked to. It’s given me a rude awakening as well as brought me back down to earth.”
When prompted that he probably wouldn’t be doing that again, Pulis confirmed the reporter’s sentiments. “Not against the big teams,” the the 57-year-old said. “I think when you play against the big teams, as I’ve always thought, you have to make sure you fill the midfield and make sure you don’t get outnumbered there. Unfortunately as I’ve said, I wanted to be positive, but that’s taught me a lesson.”